The proposed sale of Watseka's waste water treatment plant and the operation of the city's water system drew residents to city hall Tuesday evening. Questions were asked about Aqua Illinois' offer to buy the Watseka sytem for $10.5 million.
Aqua Illinois' proposal would include upfront money for improvements and upgrades to aging infrastructure. But local citizens are not too keen about an outside firm, like Aqua Illinois, taking over thes system and the city losing control of the operations.
Both Aqua Illinois and city officials say no matetr what happens, local water rates will increase and double what's being paid now.
Several residents say they'd gladly pay the double rate and learn to manage, if the city srtill owned and controlled the system.
About 75 people filed into city hall to listen, ask questions and voice concerns at the public hearing, scheduled by the Watseka City Council.
Mayor Bob Harwood provided background information about the water system, including costs and expected upgrades needed. The mayor said no decisions have been made and all factors will be studied.
The city has not been actively involved in operation its water and waste-water treatment system for 18 years. The system is managed by ERH Enterprises of Westville (IL), which is currently under contract with the city.